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RLA. Revista de lingüística teórica y aplicada

versão On-line ISSN 0718-4883

Resumo

QUINTANA HERNANDEZ, LUCÍA. LEXICAL ASPECT IN THE USE OF PAST VERBAL MORPHOLOGY BY ENGLISH SPEAKING LEARNERS OF SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE. RLA [online]. 2019, vol.57, n.2, pp.87-115. ISSN 0718-4883.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-48832019000200087.

This article investigates the use of Spanish grammatical aspect by English speaking learners of Spanish as a second language following the Lexical Aspect Hypothesis (Andersen y Shirai, 1996; Bardovi, 1994; Domínguez, Tracy, Arche, Mitchell y Miles, 2013; among many others), which proposes that the lexical aspect of the verb biases the use of Spanish past tenses. Although most studies have focused on the effects of telicity in the use of past tenses, this article also studies how dynamicity, punctuality and durativity bias the use of Spanish past tenses by learners of A2, B1and B2. To that end, a written test based on a short movie has been designed, and its results were analysed through chi-square tests. On the one hand, the results show that all groups prefer the preterit to complete the task. The A2 group shows a higher preference range, which supports the L1 Transfer Hypothesis (Slabakova, 2001; Díaz, Bel y Bekiou, 2008; McManus 2015). On the other hand, we found that the different aspectual features determine the use of past tenses in different ways: the preterit is strongly biased by dynamicity and punctuality in all levels, whereas telicity biases the use of the preterit in B1 and B2. The use of the imperfect is biased by durativity, and its effect increases in B1 and B2. The results show that pure lexical aspectual features such as dynamicity and punctuality bias the use of past tenses throughout the whole process of acquisition, whereas those aspectual features which interact with syntactic features, telicity and durativity, bias the use of past morphology in intermediate levels.

Palavras-chave : Second language acquisition; grammatical aspect; imperfect; telicity; dinamicity; punctuality; durativity.

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